Category Archives: reptiles

Plesiosaur

I’d like to apologize for the extended holiday break the blog took. I hope I still remember how to do one of these. If I’m not mistaken, I start out by saying the name of the plesiosaur.

large_nicholson_plesiosaur.jpg

Then there’s probably a picture of it, but God only knows what this thing I write underneath it is for.

Special powers

Wait, hang on. This is too soon for this part. I think I describe it in general terms just a little bit. The plesiosaur is an enormous, extinct marine reptile. Many people incorrectly think it is a dinosaur, but although the plesiosaur passed the qualification exam, it never actually applied for its dinosaur license. It looks a lot like Nessie. Okay, that’s enough, right?

Special powers

The plesiosaur can swim. It can swim beautifully, in perfect sync with classical music.

Weaknesses

The plesiosaur is terrible at Simon. That wouldn’t normally be worth bringing up, but it plays Simon every single day and has never gotten even a little bit better. It’s baffling.

Number of legs

None? I doubt the flippers count.

Prize possession

The plesiosaur treasures the only scarf it could find that would fit its long, long neck: an infinity scarf. …Alright, what’s next?

What if it fought a bear?

Ugh, this again?

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

Do you remember what this bit is based on? Seems awfully arbitrary. It’s a living creature – or was, in this case. It seems crass to reduce it to a number.

 

7.5/10

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American legless lizard

American legless lizard

Guys. Guys, can you all just this once, please please be cool? Puh-leeeeeeease. Just. Be. Cool. Okay?

The American legless lizard doesn’t know it’s a snake.

FOR ONCE.

BE. COOL.

It’s not your place or mine to tell the American legless lizard otherwise. It is our place to be cool.

Special powers

Unlike most snakes, the American legless lizard has eyelids. It likes to point this out as if it’s some kind of crucial difference that makes it not a snake. Just play along, all right?

It can detach its own tail to confound and horrify others.

As an American, it has all the freedoms granted it by the Bill of Rights. It doesn’t have to quarter anybody, and it doesn’t!

Weaknesses

The thing’s got no dang legs.

Number of legs

None.

Celebrity birthdays

The American legless lizard shares a birthday with…

  • Jan Berenstain, children’s author. People remember the author creating the “Berenstein Bears,” but it was actually “Berenstain’s Monsters.”
  • Mia Wasikowska, who died one hundred years ago this very night and hasn’t let it slow her down.

  • Melanie Williams, the secret third Williams sister.

Importance level of its Wikipedia article

Low.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear doesn’t care about detachable tails. It considers most tails detachable.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The American legless lizard needs to stop deluding itself. But I’m overstepping my bounds even by saying that in confidence.[1] I’m sorry. I should just be cool. The American legless lizard usually is. Cool, that is.

7/10

[1]This blog is just between you and me, right?

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Chameleon

Chameleon

Have you ever seen the chameleon? How many times? What if I told you the real number was four times that, and you didn’t even know it? That would be crazy. It’s actually only twice what you guessed.

Special powers

Its toes and tail are perfect for clinging to branches. Its eyes swivel independently of one another. It has a long sticky tongue – longer than its body, in fact.

But I’m burying the lead. The chameleon changes color. It does so for camouflage, in reaction to temperature, or as an expression of mood. For example, when the chameleon is angry, it turns black. I’m sorry. It’s not politically correct; it’s just what it does. Blame the chameleon.

In an effort to attract females, the male will take on multi-colored patterns. Mostly plaids and ginghams. The chameleon pictured is on acid.

In an effort to attract females, the male will take on multi-colored patterns. Mostly plaids and ginghams. The chameleon pictured is on acid.

Weaknesses

The chameleon is very slow and deliberate when moving. Do not do a three-legged race with the chameleon. Do not even play a board game with it. It takes a long time to take a Chutes and Ladders turn. Chutes and Ladders! There’s not even decisions to make in that game!

Number of legs

Four.

Do I own a Beanie Baby of it?

Yes.

What if it fought a bear?

It did, and it shot the bear with a gun.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The chameleon is a sneaky trickster. You can try to keep your eye on it, but it moves so slow, it’s hard not to get bored into ignoring it. But you gotta admit, those special powers are really cool. And it’s got a distinctive look for an animal known for going invisible. Trust me; I have the Beanie Baby.

 

 

8.5/10

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Ouroboros

And that’s why I give the ouroboros a rating of…

 

2.5/10

 

 

[1]He recorded a song with the same title shortly after.

 

Ouroboros

“Will it go round in circles?”

Billy Preston asked that question in 1971.[1] The answer: yes. The subject: the ouroboros.

derp

Look at this dingus.

Other questions remain. For example, will it fly high like a bird up in the sky? Undetermined.

Special powers

The ouroboros can reach all the way around to put its own tail in its mouth. That’s actually, like, its whole thing. It is constantly devouring its own dumb body, like an idiot. A hungry, hungry idiot.

Weaknesses

The local kids are always playing hoop and stick with it.

It is not agreed whether the ouroboros is a dragon or snake or very long dog, but if it is a dragon, it would only roast its own tail with fire.

It repeats the same mistakes over and over again.

Number of legs

Debatable. Some say four, others zero. When asked directly, the ouroboros is coy.

Celebrity birthdays

The ouroboros shares a birthday with…

  • He Hate Me, of XFL fame

  • Al Gore, of Futurama fame

  • Kendall Jenner, of fame

What if it fought a bear?

It can’t fight the bear until it stops fighting itself, you know what I mean?

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Its whole thing is eating its own dang tail. That’s not much of a thing. The pro of being flexible does not counterbalance the con of self-destruction.

And that’s why I give the ouroboros a rating of…

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Rattlesnake

Rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes! The word alone fills most people with fear and anxiety, because they have no experience in dealing with snakes.”

So says the San Diego Zoo website, and I agree. Give it a try! Run wildly into the conference room at your job and scream “Rattlesnakes!” People will be… rattled.[1] That’s because they know nothing about dealing with snakes so they don’t know that the word itself does not carry a magical power. This might not work if you are employed at the snake store.

Meanwhile, if you’re employed at the Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion, or Winn-Dixie, you have a very good chance of meeting the rattlesnake as it rotates indecisively among all three for its grocery needs. Asked to explain its behavior, the rattlesnake drawls, “This ‘conomy won’t ever make a fool out of an Alabama lieutenant.” (See Notable accomplishments)

Special powers

The rattlesnake is venomous. That’s pretty common for a snake. Less common is the rattle at the end of its tail for which it is named. The rattlesnake uses it to warn others away and to lay down sick beats.

Also, it can see your heat signature like a dang Predator.

See like a Predator

But without the predilection for murdering future governors.

Weaknesses

The rattlesnake does not employ constricting in its killing, nor in its personal life. It is not a hugger.

It gasps “Lord almighty it’s Spook’ums” every time it sees the Scream mask.

Jeepers.

Jeepers.

Number of legs

No.

Notable accomplishments

The rattlesnake has been honored with the title of Alabama lieutenant – a sort of off-brand Kentucky colonel. The position’s duties include wearing a seersucker suit, drinking juleps, and keeping the secret of Boggy Cove. The rattlesnake innovated what it calls the tequila julep, a cocktail which is several ingredients more complicated than it sounds. The International Bartenders Association condemned the drink as criminal.

In high school, the rattlesnake was voted Most Likely To Be Run Over By An ATV He Or She Is Driving On Four Separate Occasions. This prognostication proved false for two reasons. Firstly, this has only happened twice to the rattlesnake; in its third ATV accident, it could not be called the driver. Secondly, one of the rattlesnake’s classmates surpassed it, having run over himself with an ATV six times.

The rattlesnake is a beloved referee/emcee in a local independent wrestling organization. It holds the high score in Beer Beer, a variant of Beer Pong that replaces the pong elements with more beer.

What if it fought a bear?

The rattlesnake has seen the Power Team perform two dozen times, so it’s picked up some moves.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The rattlesnake is just a good ol’ boy. Never meaning no harm. Giving a fair warning before it engages in its combat dance. I do advise against going drinking with it.

 

 

7.5/10

 

Programming Note: Rate Every Animal will take a couple weeks off for the holidays. Please join us when we return in 2015.

 

 

[1]Sunglasses spontaneously appeared on my face as I wrote this.

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Monitor lizard

Monitor lizard

There is one inescapable question we must ask ourselves about the monitor lizard.

What is it here to monitor?

WHO SENT YOU

Who sent you?
(Source http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-769606p1.html)

Special powers

It is watching. Always watching. Its motives are unknown. Is it, like Uatu, sworn not to intervene? Is it a spy, sent in advance of a malevolent force to perform reconnaissance? Is it an agent of Santa Claus?

Sometimes, in addition to watching, it will reproduce asexually.

Weaknesses

The monitor lizard complains like an old man, but it uses insufficiently old references. These are quotes it has been heard to say:

  • “In my day, our smartphones only had 2 Gs and we liked it.”

  • “I’m tired of all these Arian Grandos and Izzy Arugulas. Whatever happened to real music, like Ke$ha?”

  • “Kids nowadays don’t know how good they’ve got it. Used to be you wanted to edit a Vine, you had to do it outside the program. Now it’s all in-app.”

  • “Once upon a time, NBC was on top of the world, you know. My Name Is Earl, Celebrity Apprentice, Lipstick Jungle… They had it all.”

  • “It’s disgusting how the art of communication has been lost. AIM chats. Those were our snapchats.”

  • “I can’t go to these loud modern movies, all destroyed cities and Hans Zimmer music. It used to be, Hollywood made intelligent, restrained films, like Reindeer Games.”

  • “Now I gotta learn how to deal with Lollipop? I was just getting used to Jelly Bean!”

Number of legs

Four.

Status of tongue

Forked.

Notable relatives

It is the komodo dragon‘s kin.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear has sworn to tear out the monitor lizard’s eyes as a message. To whom and why, it will not divulge. The bear knows something.

Is it noble?

I wish I knew.

Final rating

I don’t know your game, monitor lizard. I know you’re a mild pain to be around, but I can’t help but wonder if all that kvetching isn’t an act to disguise your true purpose. I’ll crack you yet. Until I do, you remain an enigma. Say hi to the komodo dragon at Thanksgiving for me.

 

 

 

5/10

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Skink

Skink

If it looks like a lizard, walks like a lizard, sounds like a lizard, and kisses like a lizard, it might be a skink.

five-lined skink

I don’t know, man.

At any rate, it is the foremost purveyor of dancing to ska music.

Special powers

The skink can ditch its tail if need be, and it doesn’t need a hundred and twenty-seven whole hours to do it.

Weaknesses

The skink can be a real stinker.

blue-tongued skink

How rude!

Also, it released a super-weak Harlem Shake video about three weeks too late.

Number of legs

Between four and zero.

Varieties

There are so very many sorts of skinks. Some of the highlights include…

Mole skink: The moleman equivalent of standard skinks.

Four-toed Earless skink: This skink has four toes and no ears.

Desert lidless skink: This desert-dwelling skink refuses to wear hats.

Gilbert’s skink: Despite the title, this skink really belongs to Derrick. Gilbert is a liar and a skink-thief.

Blotched blue-tongued skink: A brutish mook, willing to sell its talents to the highest bidder.

Mount Cooper striped lerista: Claims to have invented Tinder and been “Zuckerberged to hell.”

Fire skink: First of the elemental skinks.

Southern water skink: Another elemental skink, cool but rude.

Southern grass skink: The most reluctant and peaceful of the elemental skinks.

Ghost-type skink: It’s super effective!

Prickly skink: Don’t believe the hype. This skink is a real sweetheart underneath it all.

Florida sand skink: The Scary Spice of being the Scooby-Dum of skinks.

Chernov’s skink: Its parents pressured this skink to become a dancer, but it dreams of getting its real estate license.

Chekhov’s skink: If a skink is introduced in the first act, it will dance by the end of the third act.

Terror skink: This skink has unusual teeth which suggest that unlike most skinks, the terror skink feeds exclusively on more… substantial prey. Only one terror skink has been seen since 1876, and that sighting was in 2003. Where are the others, then? Where have they been hiding? What have they seen of us? What dark secrets of ours do they hold, and what are they waiting for?

terror skink

Maybe there’s one in that room with you right now.

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Has Had Enough Talk

“Bla Bla Bla, guys. I have a skink in my backyard, and I will take a real picture of it.”

What if it fought a bear?

If all approximately 1500 skinks fought the bear, assuming proper rest times between matches, they would go 487-1006-7.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

I fear what the terror skink has planned for us when it returns. And I have no time for its cohort’s dance stylings.

 

2/10

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Coral snake

Coral snake

As I’m sure you all know, I am on the forefront of hot trends in facial hair. The latest, buzziest style is coral snakes on your doggone face.

This is so in right now.

This is so in right now.

You can personalize your coral snake to express your individuality.

You can personalize your coral snake to express your individuality.

Special powers

Unlike most things fashion has told us to put on our head, the coral snake poses a risk of venomous bite. To know whether you’re in danger, just look at the pattern of the colored stripes on its body and repeat the classic rhyme. “Red touches yellow, you’re a dead fellow. Red touches black, you’re dead, Jack. Red touches blue, you’re dead, too. Red touches brown, you’re dead in the ground. Red touches green, this place is now a crime scene. Red touches gray, HEY! Guess what, you’re dead.”

And fun fact about that venom: the FDA-approved antivenom hasn’t been produced in the U.S. since 2003, because it’s not profitable to make more. Sleep tight!

Weaknesses

The coral snake was signed to Cash Money Records in 2010 and we still ain’t seen that album. What’s up, coral snake? Where’s the album at?

Number of legs

None at all.

Drink of choice

Stout.

Celebrity birthdays

The coral snake shares a birthday with

  • George Washington Carver, inventor of the peanut

  • Kevin Pollack, the famous painter

  • and Zack Morris, master of time itself!

What if it fought a bear?

It would never fight the bear. It looks too good wrapped around its ears and brow.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The coral snake looks great. On the other hand, it might bite you in the face and sink its venom into the snakebite that’s on your face now. Looking good comes at a price.

 

8/10

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Caiman

Caiman

Sometimes you want an alligator, but you don’t want, like, a WHOLE alligator, you know what I mean? For times like that, there’s a smaller, sportier model: the caiman.

dwarf caiman

There’s more of it under the water. Not too much though.

Special powers

It has been described by a RapGenius editor as “dripping Swagu (an attempt to tie swag to high-end aspirational brand Ragu).”

Weaknesses

The caiman has a poor fashion sense, especially compared to its otherwise nerdy cousin the gharial.

This slayed at Paris.

A hat made of your own young? Now that’s sartorial creativity!
(Photo by Udayan Rao Pawar)

Number of legs

Four.

Favorite video game

Glover.

What if it fought a bear?

The caiman claims to be a pacifist, but is actually a coward.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

I know up there I framed being a smaller substitute for the alligator as a good thing. But the caiman just doesn’t satisfy. You’re just gonna need another in a couple hours; you know what I mean? Plus, it usually hates the capybara, and an enemy of the capybara is an enemy of this blog.

 

 

3/10

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Mud turtle

Mud turtle

This week, we here at Rate Every Animal turn our attention to a turtle whose name is mud: the mud turtle. It is not made of mud. It does not prey upon mud. It got its name by losing a wager that it could make that jump. The mud turtle made the fatal mistake of forgetting that it can’t make any jump.

Special powers

It plays this low-key, but the mud turtle is super-strong.

oaxaca mud turtle

Here is a photograph of it lifting a log several times its size off the ground with one claw. It’s a little hard to see at this angle.

The mud turtle can never get lost. It is its own home.

Weaknesses

The mud turtle can’t make any jump.

Also, it suffers from seasonal orientation-sadness affective disorder, or S.O.-S.A.D., which requires the use of a special lamp to effectively manage. Just ask anyone who keeps the mud turtle as a pet; they’ll confirm the use of such equipment.

Number of legs

Four.

Varieties

The mud turtle is not one unified species. The creatures under the mud turtle umbrella include:

  • The Tabasco mud turtle: The spicy one.
  • The striped mud turtle: The striped one.
  • The scorpion mud turtle: The mutant one.
  • The Durango mud turtle: A truck.
  • The Alamos mud turtle: The forgotten one.[1]

Wikipedia quote in which turkey cold cuts are a last resort

“As pets they are easy to care for, readily eating commercial turtle foods, feeder fish, worms, or if all else fails, turkey cold cuts. They tend to have ornery yet strangely endearing personalities and enjoy sunning themselves more than other mud turtles.”

This does not mean that the striped mud turtle suns itself more frequently. What it means is that all mud turtles sun themselves, but only the striped mud turtle really gets it, man. It appreciates sunning itself on another level.

What does Mark Trail think of it?

Mark Trail loves turtles

The mud turtle is under the protection of Mark Trail.

What if it fought a bear?

The mud turtle can’t even jump. It’s nowhere near nimble enough to take on a bear.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The mud turtle is a ponderous, sad creature, but a sturdy, gentle one. It resides in its own living house of bones. That’s pretty metal. Even if it weren’t, I couldn’t risk inciting the wrath of Mark Trail.

 

 

8/10

 

 

 

[1]Like some other turtles, its shell has no basement.

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